Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Me.

Today I found myself wishing I was someone else. I saw a tall, thin brunette with a pretty smile and an oh-so-slight hipster style, and I wished I looked like her. Later I saw an artsy/hippie girl with cute white-and-tan saddle shoes, and I wished I had her style. By the end of the day, I probably will have seen another girl or two who is taller, thinner, smarter, or more interesting than me, and I'll think, "What would life be like, if I was her?"

And yet. While I listened to the lecture today in my human-computer interaction class, I noticed a guy looking at me several times. He is French and tan and has icy blue eyes. Initially, I couldn't believe it. I thought there was no way he was looking at me because it's me. Just me. Who would stare at me, especially during a lecture on persuasive technologies and ubiquitous computing? But he was staring at me, and I caught him twice. As he left class, he politely said good-bye.

I like myself well enough. I am friendly and smart and thoughtful and kind. I make people laugh and feel good about themselves. I notice the details no one else does. (That's why I can impersonate people so well.) I try to communicate with international students who don't speak English clearly, and I pay attention to people who are overlooked. I say what I think, and I mean what I say. I have opinions, which I readily share, but I am willing to be persuaded by good arguments. I am curious about everything, especially people and what they know and what they think. I bake incredible cookies and give them to people, just to make them happy. I draw and paint and write analytical prose. I read. I'm a good mix of science and art. (Or is science art and vice versa? I feel another blog post coming on . . .) I know how to pay attention to children and make them feel important. Most of the time, I'm a follower, but I also know when to lead. I am a good friend, a good daughter, and the best aunt.

Why, then, do I envy others so often? Why do I think of myself as "just me?" I have a feeling it has to do with being single. That's why marriage is so good for people -- because all it takes is one person. Just one person to know you and love you and make you feel special about all the wonderful things you have to contribute to the world.

Heavenly Father knows I've been struggling with this lately. Maybe that's why the French guy was so attentive today. We're going on our fifth week of classes this semester, and he never looked my way before. Who knows? Maybe it's a tender mercy. A providential silver lining to an otherwise frustrating week.

Thing I'm thankful for: sunshine and warm breezes


Blogger kyns said...

I wish we could have been better friends in Atlanta, Sara. But we both had our own things going on (BOyZ, barf ;) ). I didn't realize it at the time, I definitely could have used a friend like you!
I think you're really great. If I was hot french guy, I would stare at you too.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Dailey said...

Sara, those people that make you feel important don't have to be just husbands or wives. Real friends often have the tendency to think YOU hung the moon and are inspired by YOU! A beautiful and smart girl like you contributes so much to the world with something as small as a smile.
Hot french guy or not YOU ROCK!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

Give Claude/Pierre/Jacques/Marius my number.
I really hope that at least one of those is his name.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Cory McHardy said...

Okay, let me just say one thing. You have no need to go comparing yourself to other pretty girls, because you are one of them! You look absolutely fantastic, something I've caught myself noticing a lot more frequently since the beginning of the year. Between that and your personality, style and brains, I am lost to what more you could want for yourself. You should give yourself the credit you deserve. ;)

5:18 PM  
Blogger Will and Natalie Giddens said...

Envying others has little to do with being single or married (sorry! :-) What I've noticed happens once you get married is you start to envy different things about people (they are such a good mother/father, they can sew/quilt/play the piano, their kids are so well-behaved, they take such cool vacations, her house is so beautifully decorated, she was back in her pre-pregnancy jeans after only two weeks, etc).

Also, while I love my husband dearly and think he is seriously the best thing in the entire world, sometimes my opinion about all his awesomeness doesn't hold much weight with him. "You have to say that, you're my wife" blah, blah, blah. Kind of like when my mom used to tell me I was beautiful.

I think envying is simply human nature. We compare our weaknesses with other people's strengths and we never come out on top. I guess take comfort in knowing that EVERYONE struggles with this in some way or another.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"We're going on our fifth week of classes this semester, and he never looked my way before."

Sounds like someone hasn't been paying too close attention to their human-computer interaction class for the last five weeks.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Cherie (and sometimes Senor) said...

Sara, I miss you! You are fabulous! Reading your blog is like a brief, one-sided catch-up chat with you and I find myself trying to say so much! Ditto to Natalie Giddens up there. AAAAnd, just wink at the guy next time then you'll just floor him.

9:30 PM  

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